Whatever beef people may have with the #DCEU, one thing that's utterly undeniable is the caliber of actors the dark superhero universe has been able to attract — massive talents like Jesse Eisenberg, Holly Hunter, Michael Shannon, Will Smith, Viola Davis, Jared Leto and Russell Crowe so far, to name just a few.
But the Justice League cast really takes it to the next level. Zack Snyder's team-up movie is frequently described as the film which could make or break the DCEU, and the sheer level of talent attached to it is breathtaking — in fact, the Justice League cast contains no fewer than seven Oscar nominees and winners.
This page is your complete guide to the cast and characters of #JusticeLeague, from our headline heroes to the supporting players, and a breakdown of the roles they can each be expected to play in Snyder's massively-hyped epic.
'Justice League' Cast And Characters: Who's In It?
Ben Affleck Plays Bruce Wayne / Batman
The official Justice League story synopsis from #DC describes Bruce Wayne as "reevaluating his extreme methods" in the wake of Batman v Superman. Although Affleck's performance was widely considered a highlight of that film, #Batman's characterization — he was borderline sadistic at times, brandishing criminals with a bat mark and looking trigger-happy with an assortment of guns — was widely criticized by fans.
The idea that he's mellowed out feels like an admission that Snyder pushed the Dark Knight a little too far last time round — it's no coincidence that Batman's already cracked more jokes in the Justice League trailer than in the entirety of BvS. Here, Batman is the de facto leader of the League, the one responsible for assembling the team to protect Earth from extra-terrestrial forces, primarily Darkseid's army.
Ultimately: for Justice League to work, Batman has to work. Judging by the trailer, I don't think we have too much to worry about on that score.
Gal Gadot Plays Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Before she was cast, many wondered why Gal Gadot had been chosen. All of those doubts evaporated the moment she slinked on screen in Batman v Superman as the art collector Diana Prince — and were banished to history when she suited up as #WonderWoman, making her entrance to an addictive guitar riff from Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL, and proving her muscle alongside Batman and Superman.
Wonder Woman has her own solo movie on the way before Justice League (click here for all your Wonder Woman news, spoilers, trailers and more), so after waiting well over half a century to see the demigod on the big screen, 2017's going to be a pretty killer year for fans of the Amazonian warrior.
What's Wonder Woman up to in Justice League? Neither Gadot or Snyder has teased too much on that score, and the trailer doesn't give much away — she seems to be Batman's most trusted ally inside the team, but it remains to be seen what kind of relationship she forms with the others. At the very least, she'd better have a moment as badass as her epic arrival at the Doomsday fight in BvS.
Ultimately: Wonder Woman brings balance to the Justice League, and not just because she's the only female. Here's hoping she's utilized fully.
Jason Momoa Plays Arthur Curry / Aquaman
#Aquaman has never been the most beloved of DC's heroes. Since his creation in 1941, and particularly in more recent years, the Atlantean has often been the butt of the joke. He's too ridiculous to be dark. He'll never be as cool as Batman. How do you translate a character like that to the big screen?
DC's seemingly genius answer was to cast Jason Momoa, a man as physically far removed from the blonde pretty boy of the comics as could possibly be, and let him run wild. This incarnation of Arthur Curry has the physique of Khal Drogo and looks to be registering at a solid 9.5 on the "wet hero, dry humor" scale.
Don't expect too much of Aquaman's backstory in Justice League, beyond a quick introduction to Mera, Queen of Atlantis and his underwater ally Nuidis Vulko. While the James Wan-directed Aquaman solo movie will explore the character in more depth, Aquaman's role in Justice League seems to be to bring a sense of fun and to throw zingers in Batman's direction.
Ultimately: After Justice League, Aquaman's reputation as the guy who talks to fish will likely be swiftly buried. This Aquaman is all-new, all-cool.
Ezra Miller Plays Barry Allen / The Flash
Warner Bros. is a big fan of Ezra Miller — in addition to his starring role in Justice League, he'll shoot the sequel to Fantastic Beasts this summer — although two directors have now dropped out of the studio's The Flash solo movie, so that's on ice for the time being.
Still, the Justice League trailer offers a brief glimpse at Barry visiting his father Henry Allen (Billy Crudup) in prison, suggesting the movie is sticking with the origin story used in the CW's TV series. That might be the only similarity between the two incarnations of #TheFlash — what we've seen so far of Justice League suggests Miller's Barry is less angsty and more of a jokester.
Miller usually brings a certain degree of offbeat eccentricity to his characters, and was apparently ad-libbing and cracking up his Justice League castmates constantly during the shoot, but he's capable of much more than simple comic relief.
Ultimately: This could be the best portrayal of The Flash to date. With no solo movie any time soon, here's hoping Justice League uses him to the fullest.
Ray Fisher Plays Victor Stone / Cyborg
If there's an odd one out within the League, it's definitely #Cyborg. We saw a brief glimpse of his creation at the hand of scientist father Silas Stone in Batman v Superman (via underwhelming CCTV footage), but hopefully Justice League will explore that further with proper flashback sequences.
Better known as a member of the Teen Titans, Cyborg is not typically associated with the Justice League in the comics — he was a founding member during the New 52 run, but prior to 2011 had rarely been part of the team, so Snyder's decision to include him rather than Martian Manhunter or Green Lantern, both founding members from 1960 onward, seems kind of random.
That's not to say that he won't have a major opportunity to prove his worth here, though. An integral part of the Justice League plot is a series of kidnappings of scientists, one of whom is Silas Stone, Victor's father. In the comics Cyborg often struggles with his major identity issues stemming from his cybernetic, Mother Box-powered body. In Justice League, it seems he himself is a Mother Box.
Ray Fisher is a stage actor and Justice League is his first movie role, so all eyes will be on him to see what he can do, and how he holds his own against heavyweights like Ben Affleck.
Ultimately: Cyborg and Fisher both have a lot to prove in Justice League.
Henry Cavill Plays Clark Kent / Superman
To say that the DCEU hasn't really got Superman right so far isn't controversial — with Man of Steel, they tried to give the Dark Knight treatment to a hero who had always had more spirit and less billionaire angst. The new, edgier Superman felt like an abrasive departure from his comic book roots. In Batman v Superman, he was largely reacting to Batman's weird grudge against him, but still seemed fuelled by a mean streak.
More than just a plot device, his death at the end of BvS is an opportunity for Snyder to give Superman a soft reboot creatively, finding more of a balance with what makes the Man of Steel one of the two most beloved superheroes in history. Henry Cavill's acting has never been the problem, so when Superman is resurrected, expect to Metropolis city's favorite alien looking a little more human.
The big question is when that resurrection will happen — the Justice League trailer clearly wants us to believe it's being saved for the film's final act, but I reckon it might be much earlier than that (there's a clue of sorts in the trailer).
Ultimately: Superman's precise role in Justice League may be a mystery for now, but all that really matters is that DC gets him right this time.
'Justice League' Cast: The Non-Team Members
- Jesse Eisenberg plays Lex Luthor Jr. — Lex's role in Justice League will probably be minor after Batman had him incarcerated and moved to Arkham Asylum in BvS. Having summoned Steppenwolf, Lex might find a way to orchestrate some kind of villainy with the Apokoloptian general from his prison cell.
- Amy Adams plays Lois Lane — Adams's sympathetic take on Lois was one of the highlights of BvS. She's glimpsed briefly in the Justice League trailer, looking up hopefully at the sky, suggesting she should appear in the movie before the resurrection of Superman. Here's hoping.
- Jeremy Irons plays Alfred — Having made an immediate impression in Dawn of Justice as a much dryer, more sarcastic incarnation of Alfred than any we've seen before (not a butler but a former military man), Alfred is the genius responsible for much of the tech Batman and the team will be rocking in Justice League.
- Ciarán Hinds plays Steppenwolf — Darkseid's uncle and most trusted general, Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons hail from the planet Apokolips, and their typical motive is to "terraform" other planets into blazing hot clones of their home turf. Steppenwolf is performed by motion capture and will thus be largely CGI.
- Willem Dafoe plays Nuidis Vulko — A senator from the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, Vulko is described as a good guy and an ally of Aquaman. Expect his small role in Justice League to be much expanded in the solo Aquaman film.
- Amber Heard plays Mera — The wife of Aquaman and Queen of Atlantis appears in live-action media for the very first time since the character's creation in 1963. Don't expect to see too much of her in Justice League — just enough to whet our appetites (sorry) for Aquaman, in theaters Christmas 2018.
- Billy Crudup plays Henry Allen — Justice League appears to follow the Barry Allen origin story used in CW's The Flash, with Barry's father Henry Allen, played here by Billy Crudup (also starring in Alien: Covenant this year), falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife.
- Diane Lane plays Martha Kent — Oscar-nominated acting legend Diane Lane returns to play Clark Kent's mother on Earth for the third time. Hopefully she won't become the butt of every joke this time round.
- J.K. Simmons plays Commissioner Gordon — Simmons is no stranger to superhero movies, having made a very irritable, very memorable J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and sequels. His role in Justice League, as a trusted ally to Batman, is small, but he'll feature more in the solo Batman movie.
Which Justice League characters are you most excited to meet?